Whether you have recently graduated or landed your first real job, buying a car is a big step. That’s why we’ve come up with these top tips to help you with the process.
Create a Realistic Budget
Base you budget on what you can afford per month. Ideally, you’d want to pay cash, but in most cases, when considering buying a car, you will require some financing. So, take a look at your cost of living and see what’s left over to spend on car repayments.
Establish Your Needs
While a monster truck may be the vehicle of your dreams, is it going to work for you as a daily mode of transportation? On the other hand, you may think you need a minivan for all your stuff when you plan on moving, but you rent a pickup for that one day. Given the cost of insurance and fuel, avoid buying something you don’t need. However, you should pay attention to your want list: you don’t want to be hit with buyer’s remorse before you’ve even gone through that first tank of petrol.
Do Your Research
Online research has never been easier. There is so much information available on new and used cars. Once you have digested as much of it as you can, balance the information with your gut instincts and wish list.
Find a Reputable Dealer
It’s not as daunting as it sounds and the salesman on the showroom floor is really human, no matter what you may have heard. When you’re ready to weight up your options, compare dealer locations and showroom environments. You’ll want to stay away from dealerships where most of the staff are standing at the front entrance waiting to jump.
Go for a Test Drive
Never underestimate the importance of a test drive, there’s really nothing more important in your decision process. There’s a lot of variables that come in to play, such as wheel adjustment, seat height, outward visibility, steering feel, control layout, throttle tip-in, and more. So you need to spend a decent amount of time driving your dream car. Take at least half an hour and try things like freeway speeds, merging, and stop-and-go exercises.
Talk with your bank, credit union or insurance provider and try to line up financing in advance so you know what you can afford. Never approach a dealer as if they are the only ones holding all the finance option cards.
Enjoy the Process
While the above tips may make buying a car sound like quite an ordeal, given half the chance, you can enjoy the process of looking through all the available options. With such low financing rates available these days, and hundreds of cars to choose from, your options have never been better. Take your time picking a vehicle and doing your research and you’re sure to be delighted with your choice for years to come.